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Doggy quote of the month for May
Marking Harry Maclary’s 40th anniversary
For Dame Lynley Dodd, a sketch of a dog on note paper started it all – 40 years ago.
Harry Maclary From Donaldson’s Dairy was first published in 1983. The book features Harry, a mixed breed dog who looks a lot like a Skye or Scottish Terrier (Dodd has said that he is a terrier mix) alongside his canine friends:
- Hercules Morse, As Big as a Horse, a Mastiff
- Bottomley Potts, All Covered in Spots, a Dalmatian
- Muffin McLay, Like a Bundle of Hay, an Old English Sheepdog
- Bitzer Maloney, All Skinny and Boney, a mixed breed dog that is clearly part Greyhound
- Schnitzel Von Krumm, With a Very Low Tum, a Dachshund
Every Kiwi child knows this story! (with a further 19 books that followed the first).
NZ Post will release a series of commemorative stamps on 1st March to celebrate the 40th anniversary of this now classic children’s book. Can you guess which character is Sox’s favourite?
Kathleen Crisley, Fear-Free certified professional and specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand
Let me tell you about Rosie
Rosie is my foster dog; she arrived one month ago exactly, on 17 December 2021.
Rosie is an affectionate black greyhound who has had three unsuccessful adoption placements. You see, Rosie is profoundly deaf.
She was not born deaf, but she became deaf through ear infections – and what appears to be lots of them, or at least ones that had unsuccessful or no treatment. Her ear canals are so severely scarred that about the only sound she has reacted to was the high-pitched loud squeal of my burglar alarm which I set off accidentally last month.
But there is a lot more you need to know about Rosie to understand her
Rosie doesn’t know she is special needs. She simply lives in a world where she sees people’s lips move but no sound comes out. She is reluctant to make eye contact with new people and so can easily misread their intentions. She responds to emotional energy very well; she seems to know when someone is smiling and wants to give her a pat; I always ask them to allow her to come to them which works well.
When Izzy died, she certainly knew I was upset and came in for lots of cuddles and reassurance.
She isn’t so sure of people wearing masks because masks cover faces and Rosie needs faces to read the situation. I have been deliberately taking her places where she meets people in masks and where I am wearing mine. She even came with me to the drive-thru vaccination clinic when it was time for me to have my Covid-19 booster shot; she barked anxiously at the face outside the window.
Mask-wearing will be part of our lives for a while and Rosie needs to live successfully in a masked up world so I will continue exposing her in a controlled manner to mask-wearing people so she can become more confident. Today, for example, we went to the local SPCA op shop which welcomes pets. The shop attendants and the customers were all wearing masks. We didn’t have any issues.
Rosie has lots of energy. When the sun is up, so is she. Forget the advice that a greyhound is so placid that two, 20-minute walks per day are sufficient exercise. Rosie has been having two walks of at least 30-40 minutes each and cracks a good pace for the entire time. An hour’s long walk on the beach with greyhound Misty was not problem for her, either.
I gave Rosie a massage over the weekend (her first) and I can assure you that she has great muscle tone. For a girl who is now 6 years, 9 months old, she is in great shape!
Rosie would benefit from being adopted by a household with another dog who is well-settled and playful. Rosie likes to play (she has had several play dates and is enthusiastic about engaging with other dogs who are both off-lead and on-lead). A dog that could be Rosie’s mentor will give her someone to follow around and mimic. In my opinion, a chilled out dog who can teach Rosie the house rules will see her settle into a new adoptive home pretty quickly.
Remember, though, that Rosie is deaf. She will always be deaf no matter how much training she receives. Rosie misses out on the low growls of dogs who are giving her a warning signal.
She doesn’t hear the children on the footpath who are coming from behind on scooters (startling her in the process). Whomever adopts Rosie needs to understand that they need to be her ears when they are out of the house – at all times. And when integrating into her new home, the dog:dog interactions will need to be supervised initially. Rosie doesn’t mean to be annoying, but she could be, in her enthusiasm to play.
Every greyhound needs a securely fenced section.
Rosie definitely needs one and always will. Off-lead exercise can only happen in securely fenced areas.
You may have heard that people who lose the their hearing seem to develop enhanced senses of touch, taste, smell, and sight. This is definitely the case with Rosie.
She is a sighthound. I can attest to the fact that Rosie triggers on all movement. So that is definitely cats, ducks, chickens, other birds, and rabbits. She also reacts to leaves, branches, pieces of rubbish and even my neighbour’s clothes on the line when they move in the breeze. Last week we were taking an afternoon walk along Papanui Road and the sunlight was reflecting off cars onto the ceiling of the shop walkway. Rosie startled at the reflections because it looked like something overhead was coming our way.
Consequently, it’s essential that anyone who walks Rosie does so with a firm grip of the leash and with it wrapped around their wrist. Always. And so that means that Rosie cannot be taken on walks by young members of an adoptive family. Adults only. Able-bodied ones, too. And please – a normal leash and not those horrible extension leads…
If Rosie sees something of interest – like a neighbourhood cat – she will pull and rear up on her hind legs. Hold your ground and hold on tight. Rosie should always be walked in a harness for greater control and to avoid damage to her neck.
Rosie is a deep sleeper. All greyhounds sleep. Rosie sleeps more deeply than most. We know that dogs have a different sleep pattern than we do, but since Rosie cannot hear, it seems that she goes into a deep REM-like sleep more often. (This explains her energy levels when she’s awake – refreshed and ready to go!)
Greyhounds are known for their sleep startle – that sweet little greyhound can become a raving Cujo when wakened suddenly. In Rosie’s case, her risk of sleep startle is much greater. Therefore, I have developed a new habit of walking into a room with a good solid stomp of my foot. The vibrations will stir Rosie from her slumber.
The risk of sleep startle is another reason why Rosie cannot go to a home with small children, who are unlikely to remember the rules about engaging with a sleeping Rosie. Mature households only are needed as Rosie’s eventual adoptive family to keep everyone safe.
I mentioned earlier that Rosie is cuddly and affectionate. I have allowed her to sleep on my bed, particularly because she really wanted to snuggle and because she came one night to my bedroom at about 3 am when I was simply too tired to keep pushing her off the bed. Besides, I feel that since she has shown no interest in the sofa, she rightly deserves a chance to be a real pet greyhound and sleep on the bed.
Rosie is completely house-trained and she only barks when she is excited (such as when I am taking too much time to get dressed in the morning for our walk). I have had a pet cam running constantly for the last three weeks – she only whimpers a bit when I leave the house and then eventually settles on her bed for a deep sleep. She will sometimes go into the crate for a rest, but the crate is also strategically positioned so she can watch me in the kitchen from a safe distance.
In the interest of finding Rosie her forever home, I have begun working with Rosie on an essential cue – Look At Me. The Look At Me is the foundation for interacting with her handler so that she can then react to other visual cues which will be trained over time. I have already instituted her Come command, which is a vigourous tapping of my thigh.
We are perfecting her Look At Me and Come. Good things take time and I keep her training sessions short – only about 5-10 minutes each maximum. This ensures Rosie is set up for success. I am thoroughly happy to keep Rosie for as long as it takes until we find her the perfect match for her adoptive home and, in the meantime, we can continue our training and enjoy each other’s company.
Enquiries about adopting Rosie should be directed to Greyhounds as Pets.
Kathleen Crisley, Fear-Free certified professional and specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand
Posted in dog adoption, dog breeds, Dogs
Tagged deaf dogs, Fear Free, Greyhound, Rosie, special needs, training
The most filmed dog breeds
Have you ever noticed that the rectangular film frame is less suited to the human body shape than to the four-legged format of the dog?
That’s right: cinema was made for dogs. But some dog breeds make more movies than others. From the canine celebrity Rin Tin Tin to the uncanny CGI of Cruella and Call of the Wild, it feels like German Shepherds, Dalmatians, and Saint Bernards are better represented than other ‘makes’ of dog. But is this really the case? Or do they just do more PR?
Protect My Paws used IMDb data to identify the breeds that appear in the most films and TV shows of the past century-and-a-bit. We found some stuff that will change what you thought you knew about dogs in movies.
Today we present our guide to the Michael Caines and Samuel L. Jacksons of the canine world: the dog breeds that never turn down a role.
The German Shepherd Appears in More Movies Than Any Other Breed
With the dependability of a four-legged James Stewart and the ruggedness of a young Steven Seagal, the mighty German Shepherd is the canine king of Hollywood. German Shepherds – also known as Alsatians – have collected nearly twice as many credits as the second most active dog breed, the bulldog.
The Saint Bernard tends to be a limelight grabber with its James Belushi-esque presence in pictures such as Beethoven and Daddy Daycare. But nine other breeds, including the poodle and the Chihuahua, have more films to their name. And the Dalmatian? Since we counted number of films, not number of dogs, the Dalmatian is two movies short of achieving 101 credits, and does not even make the top 10.
Cinema’s ‘Funny Dogs’ dominate 1930s, ‘40s, ‘50s
How have audiences’ preferences for dog talent changed over the years? Well, the original Alsatian superstar, Rin Tin Tin, racked up the credits during the ‘Rinty’ craze of the 1920s. But his descendants and namesakes worked with only sporadic success.
It was not until the 1960s that the German Shepherd became the most-cast breed once again. The long-beaked hound was spotted in seminal zombie flick Night of the Living Dead (1968) and arthouse classic The Diary of a Chambermaid (1964), among more than 50 titles in the 1960s. But his most iconic role was as The Littlest Hobo, a homeless dog who walks the Earth solving problems for strangers.
The German Shepherd has dominated every period since the 1960s. But Hollywood’s golden age was an era of bulldogs. This wrinkle-faced bruiser can claim 34 titles in both the 1940s and the 1950s. The bulldog played alongside Judy Garland in Meet Me In St. Louis (1944) and raised laughs with Abbott and Costello and the Three Stooges. But most of the bulldog’s golden age credits are due to appearances in cartoons, particularly as Spike – a canine foil to Tom and Jerry.
That just leaves a surprise winner for the 1930s: the dachshund, or wiener dog. Why a surprise? Because the dachshund is clearly a better fit for either widescreen or CinemaScope, and neither were commonplace until the 1950s. Sure, there was a role in Hitchcock’s Secret Agent and all-star drama Grand Hotel – but most of the wiener dog’s 1930s roles came from cartoons. While bulldogs tickled 1950s audiences, in the 1930s people found dachshunds hilarious.
Sheepdog Breed Is Most Critically Acclaimed Dog
Next, we used Metacritic to find the average rating each dog breed has across their whole back catalog. From this perspective, finally the German Shepherd’s Hollywood crown starts to look wonky. With an average rating of 56.5, the German Shepherd is only the 14th most critically acclaimed dog breed.
But the critic’s darling, our lifetime achievement nominee, is the border collie. As sharp as Joan Crawford, as tenacious as Sigourney Weaver, as adorable as Heath Ledger, the border collie picks their roles carefully. Choice cuts include supporting parts in Babe (1995) and The Lobster (2015), while the collie has also played the ‘quintessential dog’ in dog movies, including A Dog Year (2009), Hotel for Dogs (2007), and Duke (2012).
As a final note, never see a film with a Yorkshire terrier in it. With an average rating of 36.3, they are all stinkers.
The Start of a Beautiful Friendship
This year was a big year for dogs in movies. The coveted Palm Dog (the canine answer to the prestigious Cannes Palme d’Or) was won not by one but three springer spaniels. All three belong with their co-star, the actor Tilda Swinton, who didn’t win a thing.
Could Rose, Dora, and Snowbear usher in a new era of springer spaniel domination in Hollywood? Could multiple dogs in the billing mean cinema is finally shaping up to fulfill its destiny – as a medium for actors who are longer than they are tall and who shout their lines in short, loud bursts, like furry Al Pacinos?
Our initial list of dog breeds was compiled using Dogtime.com. Each dog breed was then looked up on IMDB custom search engine in two variations: with and without “dog,” e.g., “German Shepherd” and “German Shepherd dog,” recording a total number of unique titles (films and tv series), as well as their year of release, and their Metascore, where available.
Dog breeds with the highest number of unique titles they appeared in were deemed the most popular. Dog breeds with the highest average Metascore of the titles they appeared in were deemed the highest rated.
Data was collected in July 2020.
Posted in dog breeds, Dogs
Tagged dogs in film, dogs in movies, films, movies
Most dog breeds highly inbred
Dog breeds are often recognized for distinctive traits — the short legs of a dachshund, wrinkled face of a pug, spotted coat of a Dalmatian. Unfortunately, the genetics that give various breeds their particular attributes are often the result of inbreeding.
In a recent study published in Canine Medicine and Genetics, an international team of researchers led by University of California, Davis, veterinary geneticist Danika Bannasch show that the majority of canine breeds are highly inbred, contributing to an increase in disease and health care costs throughout their lifespan.
“It’s amazing how inbreeding seems to matter to health,” Bannasch said. “While previous studies have shown that small dogs live longer than large dogs, no one had previously reported on morbidity, or the presence of disease. This study revealed that if dogs are of smaller size and not inbred, they are much healthier than larger dogs with high inbreeding.”
Inbreeding affects health
The average inbreeding based on genetic analysis across 227 breeds was close to 25%, or the equivalent of sharing the same genetic material with a full sibling. These are levels considered well above what would be safe for either humans or wild animal populations. In humans, high levels of inbreeding (3-6%) have been associated with increased prevalence of complex diseases as well as other conditions.
“Data from other species, combined with strong breed predispositions to complex diseases like cancer and autoimmune diseases, highlight the relevance of high inbreeding in dogs to their health,” said Bannasch, who also serves as the Maxine Adler Endowed Chair in Genetics at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.
The researchers partnered with Wisdom Health Genetics, a world leader in pet genetics, to obtain the largest sample size possible for analysis. Wisdom Health’s database is the largest dog DNA database in the world, helping researchers collect data from 49,378 dogs across 227 breeds — primarily from European sources.
Some breeds more inbred
So, what makes a dog breed more inbred than others? Bannasch explained that it’s often a combination of a small founding population followed by strong selection for particular traits in a breed — often based on looks rather than purpose. While she has always had an interest in the population structure of some of these breeds, she became particularly interested in the Danish-Swedish farmdog several years ago. She fell in love with their compact size, disposition and intelligence, and ended up importing one from Sweden.
Bannasch discovered that Danish-Swedish farmdogs have a low level of inbreeding based on their history of a relatively large founding population of 200, and being bred for function, rather than a strong artificial selection for looks. And according to the insurance health data on breeds collected from Agria Insurance Sweden and hosted online by the International Partnership for Dogs, the farmdog is one of the healthiest breeds.
The study also revealed a significant difference in morbidity between brachycephalic (short skull and snout) and non-brachycephalic breeds. While that finding wasn’t unexpected, the researchers removed brachycephalic breeds from the final analysis on effects of inbreeding on health.
Preserving genetic diversity
In the end, Bannasch said she isn’t sure there is a way out of inbred breeds. People have recognized that creating matches based solely on pedigrees is misleading. The inbreeding calculators don’t go back far enough in a dog’s genetic line, and that method doesn’t improve overall high levels of population inbreeding.
There are other measures that can be taken to preserve the genetic diversity and health of a breed, she said. They include careful management of breeding populations to avoid additional loss of existing genetic diversity, through breeder education and monitoring of inbreeding levels enabled by direct genotyping technologies.
Outcrosses are being proposed or have already been carried out for some breeds and conditions as a measure to increase genetic diversity, but care must be taken to consider if these will effectively increase overall breed diversity and therefore reduce inbreeding, Bannasch said. In particular, in the few breeds with low inbreeding levels, every effort should be made to maintain the genetic diversity that is present.
Source: UC Davis
Posted in animal welfare, dog breeds, Dogs, research
Tagged genetics, inbreeding
Note from DoggyMom: Not all statistics are created equal. This study relied upon comments in pet forums and other social media. It fails to recognise, for example, that the Labrador Retriever consistently ranks as #1 as the top family dog in the UK and the USA. If there are more of them, then they will feature more highly in statistics.
Home is where your dog is – and with good training, consistency and a bit of luck, you won’t experience major damage requiring an insurance claim
They bring us comfort, company and thousands of cute photo opportunities, but pets can also cause their fair share of utter chaos. From knocking over fragile decorations, through to leaving mud (and worse) all over our floors, rarely does a day go by where pet owners don’t find something a little surprising.
But for some animals, the chaos goes way beyond occasional accidents. We’ve scoured pet forums to work out the most destructive breeds of all. The damaging dogs who leave our homes in ruins, through to the catastrophic cats leaving us frantically checking our home insurance policies.
Dogs are more destructive than cats
Based on the number of people on pet forums lamenting their dog’s behavior, we’ve ranked the most calamity-causing canines.
Sorry, dog lovers, but your four-legged best friend has caused more damage than any feline. Despite the tendency of cats to climb into what they should keep out of, and occasionally knock things over out of spite, the chaos they cause pales in comparison to that of dogs.
The energy and excitability of dogs means they occasionally forget how big they are, crashing into things as they rush to show you how happy they are to see you. Cats, on the other hand, are like tiny gymnasts, and are far more laid back about expressions of emotion.
The top 10 most destructive dog breeds
We delved deeper into the pet forums to decipher which dog breeds are the most destructive, causing all kinds of chaos throughout their owners’ homes.
Loveable labs are the biggest home destroyers
One of the most-loved breeds around the world, the labrador has come out top of our naughty list for wreaking havoc in their owner’s home. With 6% of all mentions of various destruction centered around the breed on pet forums, it’s safe to say that their ‘butter wouldn’t melt’ faces have deceived us all!
In second place, and well known for their antics, is the beagle. Their amazing strength and huge amounts of energy have gotten them into a lot of trouble according to our research, with 5% of all mentions of household carnage including this breed.
Though some prangs may be a fact of life for pet owners, the costs don’t have to be. Finding the best home insurance policy for you could save you money and give you the peace of mind to let your perfect pooch have the free rein they deserve.
The things pets love to break
From looking all adorable curled up on your lap, to suddenly ripping up your brand new carpet, pets can decide to ruin your home at the flick of a switch. While they’re probably just doing it because they’re bored, and not because they’ve got some master plan to ruin the no claims discount on your home insurance, the things pets destroy can still end up costing a lot of money.
Here are the things most likely to meet their maker at the paws of your pets.
Item % of all mentions of damage
But don’t fret – there are ways to keep your home (relatively) pet friendly. Cats in particular love playing with anything dangly, making cables an obvious target. By using cable tidies and hiding them behind furniture, you’ll limit the temptation for cats to bat at them.
Doors are often a victim of excitable scratching. By putting vertical scratching pads on them, you can give your pets a place to vent their feelings without ruining your decorations. A good selection of scratching posts will also keep cats’ claws busy.
Carpets, meanwhile, can fall victim to many animal habits. For the messier ones, we’d recommend a good carpet cleaner to mop up any stains. If sharp claws are more of a concern, both cats and dogs can be trained to leave your carpets alone, so long as they have other options to play with.
Generally, lots of playing and exercise with your pets will stop them playing havoc with your house, and save you having to make a claim on your home insurance. Remember, they’re only doing it because they love you.
Destructive dog breeds and what they love to wreck
We took a look at what the most common form of destruction is for each breed, by matching their mentions on pet forums with each type of damage.
Keep your fragile ornaments away from blundering bull terriers
Staffordshire bull terriers are the clumsiest breakers of the breeds, with 1 in 20 mentions of broken phones, plant pots, glasses and more involving them. They’re a powerful breed with incredible muscles, meaning any excited indoor play could easily result in broken possessions. They love outdoor exercise though, and the more of that they get, the more tired they’ll be when you get them home.
Labradors, however, prefer to destroy things in a much wetter way. They’re the most likely dog to confuse your furniture and carpet for their toilet, so consistent training is essential if you want to keep your home stain free.
Coming home to a chewed skirting board or nibbled sofa is a common occurrence for collie owners, with the breed being mentioned the most for this type of damage. They also received the top mentions for the total destruction of property and the snapping of small household objects, like dustpans, dog bowls and mops. If you have a collie in your home, expect chaos!
In the garden, it’s the shih tzu that will dig up your favourite flower bed to bury that bone, so gardeners beware! For food-lovers, it’s the beagle that you need to watch out for. This breed will steal the food off your plate, tip over the bin for a rummage and ransack any cupboard in reach, with 1 in 15 mentions of food theft including their name.
If you compare home insurance, you can make sure your policy covers your pet’s particular habits – from secret scavenging to amateur gardening.
The cat breeds most likely to destroy things at home
Bengal cats might be beautiful, but their wee certainly isn’t. This breed tops the charts of destructive cats, mainly for their love of urinating in their owners’ homes. Cat pee has a smell that really sticks with you, especially when it’s in the middle of your floor. With 1 in 3 mentions of cats behaving badly linked to the Bengal, this is one sassy cat to look out for.
Ragdolls also enjoy their turn at wrecking things. They’re a very needy breed, and if you leave them alone for too long they may well take that neediness out on your belongings.
Tabby cats come in third place. These cats crave exercise, and keeping them inside for too long could see your furniture fall victim to their pent-up aggression. By letting them roam and explore their surroundings, you can prevent the destruction of your home.
The most loved pets on the internet
It’s not all bad news for pet lovers. While they might occasionally scratch/chew/eat/wee on something important, they’ll more than make up for it in the love they show you.
We analysed social media sentiment to see which pets were receiving the most heart eyes and laughing faces from posts about pets online.
Golden retrievers are the most loved pet on the internet
The popular and adorable golden retriever is officially the most loved pet online, with an average of 222 ‘love’ reactions per online post around the breed, far ahead of the cocker spaniel in second place with 84 loves for every post. The golden retriever also received the most posts online, with 4.4 million in the last year alone.
The sass and mischievous behaviour of the Bengal cat received the second-highest number of posts, with 2.4 million in the last year. Bengals have also earned the title of the funniest pet on the internet, with 17 laughing emojis per post. The clumsy and comical Great Dane took a close second place for the dogs with 16 reactions a post. Great Danes are also racking up the sad face emojis, with its puppy dog eyes gaining the sympathy vote online.
Labradoodles and their owners are getting into the most trouble with their energetic antics online, with the highest amount of angry reactions at 79 reactions for every post.
BreedTotal online reactions
The secret price of pet ownership
When buying a pet, there’s much more than the initial cost to think about. When you add the price of food, toys and pet insurance to the list, the price quickly adds up.
On top of that, it’s well worth thinking about the impact they’ll have on your home. If you compare home insurance, you should be able to find a policy that can cover the cost of accidental damage, letting you enjoy all the company your pet brings without having to worry about them wrecking your property.
We collected over 20,000 posts from pet owners at petforums.co.uk, analysing each for mentions of specific breeds alongside descriptive words for damage, to figure out which breed was most frequently mentioned, and therefore, the most destructive. We then broke down the mentions of breed into specific types of damage, through mentions of key words like ‘chew’ and ‘wee’ alongside household objects, to reveal the breeds causing each type of damage.
To identify the most loved pets on the internet we used social listening tool Buzzsumo to analyse the number of each type of reaction each breed received on all posts in the last year, and divided this by the number of posts about the breed, to get the average number of each type of reaction per social post.
Posted in dog breeds, Dogs
Do Dogs Increase Your Attractiveness and Matches on Dating Apps?
Honest Paws, manufacturer of organic CBD products for pets, surveyed 600 U.S. singles seasoned in the art of online dating, to find out if dog ownership is the secret to success on dating apps and to uncover which apps are most ideal for meeting fellow dog lovers.
Do dogs improve your chances on dating apps? U.S. singles certainly think so. 70% of respondents, overall, and 72% of millennials think having a dog in their profile photos helps them get more matches, while 63% of respondents are more tempted to match with someone who has a dog in their profile.
Samantha Ross, the editor at Romantific, offers a solid rationale for this:
“Men, in particular, can be seen as committed and trustworthy when they are seen with a pet. In some case studies, men with dogs are more likely to be approached as they are found to be charming and appealing. Having a pet also assures a potential partner that you are capable of taking care of another creature.”
In many cases, pets take on the role of wingman (or wing-woman) in addition to man’s best friend. According to survey results, 50% of singles have no issue using their dog as a ploy to meet someone they’re attracted to while out and about. Sometimes ditching the canned pick-up lines and leaving the ice-breaking to the dogs is your best bet for success – a real-life “meet-cute.”
Tractive, a real-time GPS for pets, agrees, calling doggos our “fearless, filter-free socializers, who not only boost our happiness levels but encourage us to interact with new people.”
When asked which dog breeds singles love seeing most on dating app profile photos, a few lead the pack. German Shepherds, Pitbulls, Huskies, Labs, and Golden Retrievers were named favorites by the largest percentage of respondents.
Other beloved breeds like Chihuahuas, American Bulldogs, Pomeranians, and Poodles followed closely behind.
More respondents who are dog owners would rather quarantine with their dogs (55%) over a romantic partner (45%). Pandemic stress and countless more hours at home with significant others certainly exacerbate the willingness of couples to take some time apart. But overall, most dog parents can’t bear to be away from their pets for too long.
Almost half of respondents say they would break up with someone they were dating if their dog did not like them, and a quarter of respondents even admit to staying in a relationship because they didn’t want to risk losing the dog – proof that the bond between humans and our canine partners runs deep.
21% of Gen Z respondents and 24% of male respondents would even go as far as borrowing a friend’s dog for their dating profile photos – even though (eventually) they will be found out. And when they are, the outlook isn’t promising. 64% of respondents would cut ties with someone who lied about owning a dog on their dating app profile.
Source: Honest Paws
Posted in dog breeds, Dogs, research
Tagged American Bulldog, attractiveness, Chihuahua, dating, dating apps, german shepherd, Golden Retriever, Huskies, Labrador Retriever, pit bulls, pomeranian, poodle, survey
I said goodbye to Eddie on Saturday. With his Mum’s permission, I am writing this post.
Eddie and I first met in June 2016 when he was the tender age of 11 weeks. He was the newest addition to a family that already included his French Bulldog sister, Jorgie – also a regular massage customer.
As he rapidly grew, he developed his rugby player neck which earned him my nickname “My Little Boofhead.” It didn’t take him long to understand that the table meant massage – leaping up to get started:
In the intervening 4+ years, Eddie proved to be an enthusiastic Lover and not a Fighter (contrary to what so many people believe about Bull Breed dogs). Always eager to please, he learned strengthening and rehab exercises quickly.
He was also an Over-Sharer – I lovingly called him this because he would often howl in my ear for part of his massage session. I am convinced he wanted me to know everything he had been doing since I last saw him. (I just wish he had come with subtitles and a volume control).
Eddie was one of those dogs that seemed to go from crisis to crisis. He needed soft palate surgery after suffering from enlarged tonsils, he developed digestive problems that did not respond to various therapies and, after biopsy, was diagnosed with IBD. He then ingested rat poison when visiting a neighbour and had to go to the emergency vet for what was – thankfully – a quick intervention. He then ruptured one cruciate and had surgery followed by 12 weeks of rehab- only to become a statistic and rupturing the other in good measure.
And then in September, just as it looked like we had fully rehabbed him from his second cruciate surgery and he was ready to strengthen and return to normal activity, out of the blue he developed pancreatitis that wasn’t linked to a food indiscretion.
As it turned out, his ultrasound revealed that Eddie was likely suffering from stomach cancer and our focus turned to his quality of life. Eddie’s mum asked that we continue laser therapy for pain relief, knowing that laser therapy is contraindicated in cases of cancer – this was about keeping him happy and comfortable as a cure was not possible.
Eddie’s time has come. A follow-up scan has shown that his tumour has grown significantly and, tomorrow morning, he will be helped across the Rainbow Bridge.
In Eddie’s case, I see him mounting the Bridge in his custom-built stairlift (this video made him something of a Facebook star with some loyal followers on my page).
Eddie has taught me a lot about living in the moment; no matter what the health challenge of the time, he seemed to roll with it. But cancer is a wasting disease and only in the last few weeks did we notice how flat he had become – definitely not his normal self.
Goodbye, My Little Boofhead. It’s been quite a ride – one that I wish would have lasted for much longer.
Kathleen Crisley, Fear-Free certified professional and specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand
Posted in dog breeds, dog care, Dogs
Tagged cancer, Staffordshire Bull Terrier
New research finds Australian labradoodles are more poodle than lab. Here’s what that tells us about breeds
It all started in the late 1980s. Wally Conron, a breeding manager for Guide Dogs Victoria, noticed that some people needing a guide dog appeared to be allergic to the shedding hairs of Labrador retrievers.
Aware of the perception that poodles shed little hair and so shouldn’t create such a reaction, Wally crossed a Labrador retriever with a standard poodle. The result proved to be successful, and breeding “labradoodles” took off around the world, with Wally left standing on the sidelines.
In a new study published in the journal PLOS, an international research team has documented the molecular basis of the Australian labradoodle. Their main conclusion is that animals in the Australian labradoodle breed registry are mostly poodle, and not a 50-50 split as might have been expected. It’s also important to mention the Australian labradoodle is a budding breed, not yet an official one.
These results aren’t surprising to animal geneticists. They provide scientific evidence for the common understanding of how breeders choose dogs to mate for their desirable traits, such as a poodle-like coat. And over generations, this preference leads to a strong genetic predominance in the new breed.
What the research found
The researchers from U.S., Pakistan and South Korea analyzed genetic data from individual Australian labradoodle dogs and a variety of other breeds, including Labrador retrievers and poodles of different varieties. They included dogs from the two distinct types of labradoodles:
Labradoodles: the offspring of a Labrador and a poodle
Australian labradoodles: dogs resulting from generations of breeding and selection among the descendants of early crosses between Labrador retrievers and standard poodles and (as it turns out) the occasional other breed.
So what did the researchers discover? Not surprisingly, the actual offspring of a cross between a Labrador and a poodle have an equal share of genetic material from each breed. We expect this because each pup will have one Labrador chromosome and one poodle chromosome for each chromosome pair.
Also not surprisingly, individual dogs of the Australian labradoodle breed have a range of proportions of Labrador and poodle ancestry, strongly tending towards the poodle.
When first generation labradoodles are bred together, their resulting descendants have a range of genetic contributions from the Labrador or poodle grandparents.
Any pup can have 100% Labrador DNA, 50% poodle DNA or 100% poodle DNA at any particular gene. If a pup accidentally inherits no poodle DNA at the relevant coat genes, then it will have a Labrador coat.
Given the main initial aim of creating labradoodles was to make use of the perceived low-allergenic properties of poodles, the higher proportion of poodle ancestry in Australian labradoodles is expected after generations of selection for a poodle-like coat. This is the main conclusion of the paper just published.
Interestingly, the researchers make the important point that even though a poodle-like coat is widely regarded as being lowly allergenic, there seems to have been no research study that has investigated this. This is an important knowledge-gap that needs to be filled.
The study also found other breeds have made small contributions to Australian labradoodles, including poodles of different size varieties. There’s even a touch of spaniel.
This is a common occurrence. As soon as breeders decide to mix two breeds in the hope of combining some desirable traits, it makes sense to introduce other breeds if it’s thought they could make a useful contribution. For example, a cockerpoo (cocker spaniel crossed with a poodle) might have been mixed in to make the breed smaller.
What does this tell us about the concept of dog breeds?
This study reinforces the common understanding that, from a biological point of view, a breed is an amalgam of genetic variation derived from various sources. It shows Australian labradoodles have considerable genetic diversity, most of it derived from poodles.
As a breed becomes more recognized and more formalized, the only animals that can be registered as members of that breed are the offspring of other registered members. At present, Australian labradoodles are commonly regarded as a breed but are not, so far as we can determine, officially recognized as such by relevant national authorities.
Importantly, there are no scientific criteria for when a breed should become closed and when it should be formally recognized: these are decisions that are made solely by interested breeders and the registering authorities.
What this means for breeders
The Australian Labradoodle Association lists 32 accredited breeders which suggests the breed is a moderately-sized population in Australia. It likely produces 150 to 300 pups per year. This is a population size comparable with many other registered dog breeds in Australia.
As in any population of most animal species, problems can arise in any breed from the mating of close relatives. The more closely related the parents, the greater is the chance valuable genetic variation will be lost from a breed, and the greater the chance of offspring having inherited diseases.
Two examples of problems like this are progressive retinal atrophy (a disorder that causes blindness) and degenerative myelopathy (a disorder that causes paralysis in aged dogs).
Fortunately, pedigree tools are available to enable breeders to consider a wide range of possible matings. DNA tests, which are becoming increasingly available for inherited diseases, can also be very helpful.
The International Partnership for Dogs provides information on resources available for breeders to improve dog genetic health.
In any case, the new research results have provided an important, solid scientific underpinning of the common understanding of how breeds are formed. By combining the desirable aspects of both Labradors and poodles in one breed, the Australian labradoodle is a welcome addition to the dog-breed pantheon.
It is to be hoped breeders of Australian labradoodles, indeed breeders of all breeds, use the available powerful scientific tools to maintain genetic variation within their breed and reduce substantially the chance of inherited diseases.
Posted in dog breeds, Dogs, research
Tagged DNA, Labradoodle, labrador, poodle